Announcing the Death
The news of a death should be broken face-to-face, or on the telephone. More distant relatives and friends may be told by email or letter and brief text messages are best avoided.
While the more conventional ways of spreading news are usually still adhered to, some people are choosing social media in addition, especially when the person has died young, as they see it as the best way of communicating with the deceased’s peer group. Great care and sensitivity needs to be used if this route is chosen; but the bereaved need to use what tools are available at such a hard time and should never be criticised. Bereaved friends may also wish to post messages on a dedicated page on a social media site, so it is important to monitor the site to ensure that all the content is respectful and appropriate.
The public announcement of the bereavement and details of the funeral and/or memorial service are usually published in a death notice placed by the family in local or national newspapers.
They vary in length, but should be kept simple and to the point. Essential details include the name of the deceased, residence (town or village), date of death and any special arrangements.
Where and when services will be held, whether to send flowers and where the charity donations are being sent to, as well as the undertaker's details are often included.
Notices may also state 'no letters', or may include the phrase 'funeral service private'.
A simple yet personal death notice would read along the lines of the following:
MANNERS - On 29 February at home. Jonathan William, eldest son of the late Michael and Julie Manners of Sussex, and much loved husband of Jane Manners. Funeral service The Church, Richmond, Surrey on 15 March at 2 o'clock.
Detailed examples of how to include different information can be found by looking in the relevant pages of newspapers such as The Times and the Telegraph.